The most important news on technology, developments and trends with insightful analysis. Coverage includes hardware, software, networking, wireless computing, personal technology, security and cutting-edge technology from the developer world to the consumer world.
Powermat may have a bright future, but the company's products to date have been expensive, slightly clunky and a generally imperfect solution for bringing wireless power to mobile devices. That could all change with WiCC. The Wireless Charging Card (WiCC) is an IEEE Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard, with the potential to integrate Duracell Powermat technology within every mobile gadget. The incredibly thin device resembles those wafer-like SmartMedia cards once used in early digital cameras, with a similar form factor, but significantly more practicality. Each WiCC includes all the PowerMat circuitry found in the company's charging cases, while also doubling as an NFC antenna. The card's success is of course contingent on cooperation from device manufacturers, who will need to add a slim connector above the battery leads, including two for power, two for NFC and two for data - an app will monitor charging. Powermat reps say that such a connector would cost pennies to implement, however, making it a potentially easy sell.Powermat President Daniel Schreiber sees this as a major breakthrough for the smartphone industry, saying "we're going to do for wireless power what the memory card did for storage in mobile phones." We had a chance to take a look at a mock-up of the wireless card at MWC, which was resting just above the battery in a Samsung Galaxy S II. Because the phone's battery is slightly recessed, both the card and battery fit below the device's original backplate - the WiCC lies flush with the phone's camera lens. Overall, we think there's some serious potential here, assuming device manufacturers are game to come on board. Still, don't expect to see these hitting stores anytime this year - the company expects its other products to come to market long before the Wireless Charging Card. So for now, jump past the break to take a closer look, but don't make any plans to toss that power adapter just yet.